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Recent research indicates that students are adopting a consumerist approach to education, while data shows that the best academic outcomes are associated with intrinisc motivation. The goal of the study was to explore student academic motivation in an undergraduate Principles of Chemistry I class. The pilot study targeted approximately 432 students at a large, public four year university enrolled in 9 sections of the class over two semesters. Student academic motivation was measured using the adapted Academic Motivation Scale (AMS). A total of 311 students returned the survey (response rate = 72 %). The results indicated that students enrolled in Chemistry I classes were extrinsically motivated more than intrinsically motivated. The types of extrinsic motivation identified by students were the least autonomous ones, such as external and introjected regulation.